Se-tenant Pairs (35,000)
- Happy Valentines Day
- I Love You
Layout Artist: Jesus Alfredo Delos Santos
Richard M. Allen Baron
First Day Covers: Manila
Every February, across the
country, candies, flowers, and gifts are exchanged between loved
ones, all in the name of St. Valentine. Valentines' Day as we know
it today is celebrated not only in the Philippines but also in
Canada, Mexico, USA, United Kingdom, France and Australia. But who
is this mysterious saint and why do we celebrate this holiday?
Today, the Catholic Church recognizes at least three different
saints named Valentine or Valentinus, all of whom were martyred.
One legend contends that
Valentine was a priest who served during the third century in Rome.
When Emperor Claudius II decided that single men made better
soldiers than those with wives and families, he outlawed marriage
for young men-his crop of potential soldiers. Valentine, realizing
the injustice of the decree, defied Claudius and continued to
perform marriages for young lovers in secret. When Valentine's
actions were discovered, Claudius ordered that he be put to death.
Other stories suggest that
Valentine may have been killed for attempting to help Christians
escape harsh Roman prisons where they were often beaten and
tortured. According to one legend, Valentine actually sent the first
greeting himself. While in prison, it is believed that Valentine
fell in love with a young girl-who may have been his jailor's
daughter-who visited him during his confinement. Before his death,
it is alleged that he wrote her a letter, which he signed "From your
Valentine", an expression that is still use today. Although the
truth behind the Valentine legends is murky, the stories certainly
emphasize his appeal as a sympathetic, heroic, and most importantly,
Valentine greetings were popular as far back as
the Middle Ages (written Valentine's did not begin to appear until
after 1400), and the oldest known Valentine card is on display at
the British Museum. The first commercial Valentine's Day greeting
cards produced in the U.S. were created in the 1840's by Esther A.
Howland, known as the Mother of the Valentine, rtiade elaborate
creations with real lace, ribbons and colorful pictures known as